Proverbs 14: 32-33
32 The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die.
Change is hard. It may be one of the most difficult things we do as we seek to learn, grow, and engage the world while trying to live out our faith. Sometimes we can find ourselves unwilling to change in spite of obvious and direct evidence that we should. In the scripture above we learn that “the wicked are crushed by disaster”. Galatians 6: 7-10 tells us “Don’t be misled-you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone- especially to those in the family of the faith.”
I don’t see the writer referring to “the wicked” as just criminals or generic ne’er-do-wells. When we consider context wicked means those who do not place their trust in God. If we live our lives for ourselves only we remove God from the position of Master and place ourselves at the head of the table. Obviously, this leads us down roads where we make decisions based on what is good for us first and foremost instead of communing with God in prayer as a Servant to his will. Our challenge is to understand that God has big plans for us…he wants us to place his will ahead our own so he can do his work in our lives. He has promised through Jesus’s death and resurrection an eternal life to those who seek him. This Proverb may be a warning to those who will not change or submit to Gods will for their lives. Those who put themselves in the place of Master instead of servant, those who place pride above humility and themselves above God will not escape his judgment and will have no control over their final destination. We must submit in service to the Father if we are to receive his eternal refuge.
33 Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools.
Wisdom is gained by understanding, the question then is how we gain understanding. The Proverb specifically states it takes “heart”. Consider Matthew 6:21 “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be”. We must understand that submitting to Gods will is how to gain and keep wisdom. If our treasure is elsewhere then we limit our own ability to gain Gods wisdom because our heart is not seeking it. Proverbs 3:5 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” This is further evidence that God wants us to submit our hearts to his will for our lives. When we do he can use us to bless others, and be a light of hope in the world. For some this is a major change. It means putting God at the head of the table and humbly seeking to serve him, even when we may not like where he is leading us… As I conclude…let’s consider a couple of questions:
- Is wisdom gained by going after what I want or listening to what God wants?
- What can I do better, differently, or more diligently to make sure God is the focus of my heart?
- What motivates my actions God or worldly things?